Why in news?
- A nation’s development demands the constructive input of all sectors of society, especially children and young, and India has a remarkable chance to develop and become wealthy before the onset of ageing.
What does the term “demographic dividend” mean?
- Demographic dividend refers to economic development that occurs as a consequence of changes in a country’s population’s age structure.
- Typically, the shift in age structure is triggered by a fall in fertility and death rates.
- As a result of fewer births being reported, the number of young dependents is less than the working population.
- With fewer people to support and a higher labour force participation rate, an economy’s resources may be reallocated and spent in other areas, accelerating a country’s economic growth.
- The dividend is referred to as the ‘window of demographic opportunity’ since it is accessible for a limited period of time.
What are the primary areas in which a nation might gain demographic benefits?
- Throughout a demographic era, personal savings accumulate and may be utilised to boost the economy.
- More employees, especially more women, are added to the labour force.
- With fewer births, parents have more resources to dedicate to each kid, resulting in improved educational and health results.
- GDP per capita increases as the dependence ratio decreases.
What opportunities exist for India?
- India is undergoing a population change. This creates a chance for quicker economic development, which India has already started to reap.
- However, India’s GDP advantage from demographic shift has been smaller than that of its Asian rivals and is now diminishing.
What are the obstacles to receiving the demographic dividend’s benefits?
- Without appropriate measures, the growing working-age population may result in increased unemployment, exacerbated economic and social concerns.
- India’s jobless increase is particularly pronounced since the country’s current working-age population is hardly absorbed.
- A critical issue is the scarcity of skilled labour.
- Public investment in human development criteria such as education and healthcare are insufficient.
- Over 85% of the Indian economy is unorganised.
What is the urgent need of the hour?
- Countries such as Singapore, Taiwan, and South Korea have already shown how a demographic dividend may be realised by progressive policies and programmes that empower the young in terms of education, skills, and health choices.
- National Transfer Accounts (NTA) statistics for India should be updated to reflect the progress achieved on such investments from 2011-12.
- State-specific NTAs should be determined annually, and states should be graded on their investment in youth.
- India ranks last in Asia in terms of private and state investment in human capital. It should spend more on children and adolescents, especially in nutrition and early childhood education.
- A stronger emphasis should be placed on the transition from secondary school to universal skill development and entrepreneurship, as South Korea has done.
- Public health expenditure has been stable at roughly 1% of GDP. During the demographic dividend, it is critical to develop policies that promote health. Access to reproductive healthcare services must be based on human rights.
- The unmet demand for family planning in India, which stands at 9.4% according to the most recent National Family Health Survey-5 (2019-21), must be addressed.
- Gender disparities are quite minor in Japan, South Korea, and Indonesia.
- In India, males enrol in secondary and postsecondary schools at a higher rate than girls, which must be rectified.
- As of 2019, 3 per cent of women were employed or actively seeking employment, down from 34.1 per cent in 2003-04.
India must address the disparities between its states. A new federal approach will need to be established to facilitate policy coordination between states on a variety of developing demographic concerns, including migration, ageing, skill development, female labour participation, and urbanisation. Inter-ministerial collaboration should be a key aspect of strategic planning, investment, monitoring, and course correction.